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Prices of chicken, egg and tomato edge higher

KARACHI: Some retailers have passed on the benefit of falling wholesale price of pulses and sugar while sellers of chicken and egg are cashing in on winter demand.

In vegetables, tomato price has risen by Rs20 per kilogram to Rs80 as retailers said that a large quantity from Sindh is being sent to Punjab where import of the vegetable at Wagah border from India has been banned by the government.

However, some retailers, especially those whose shops are in residential areas, are not ready to fully pass on the benefit of falling wholesale prices to the end users and are still selling sugar for Rs65-70 per kg.

A number of retailers are selling sugar at Rs63-65 per kg as compared to Rs70 last month despite a sharp drop in wholesale prices. In October, sugar was selling at Rs75 per kg. The start of sugarcane crushing by millers in Sindh proved to be a big sigh of relief for consumers as the commodity’s wholesale price fell to Rs56.50 to Rs57 per kg from Rs65-67 in the last month. In the last week of October, the wholesale price of sugar was Rs70 per kg.

According to the data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), sugar exports were nil in the July-October period as compared to 20,117 tonnes (worth $9m) in the same period of the preceding fiscal year. In contrast, its imports stood at 2,746 tonnes ($1.4m) during the four-month period as compared to 6,278 tonnes ($3.3m) a year earlier.

There was no respite in gram pulse prices which were Rs190-200 per kg despite a drop in its wholesale rates to Rs145-150 from Rs150-155 last month. Wholesale price of gram was Rs175-180 per kg in October.

Drop in wholesale price of maash pulse to Rs150-155 per kg finally brought down its retail price to Rs200 which was Rs280 in October. The wholesale price of maash was Rs170-175 in the last week of October and Rs200-225 in the middle of this year.

Moong pulse in retail markets is available at Rs140 per kg while masoor sells for Rs160 despite a fall of Rs20-25 per kg in its wholesale price to Rs85-95.

According to PBS figures, overall pulse imports dropped 12pc to 266,669 tonnes in July-October from 303,691 tonnes in the same period a year ago. However, the value of imports swelled 29pc year-on-year to $233 million from $180m.

The government has been trying to control gram pulse prices but consumers have not witnessed any price cut so far, especially at the retailers’ end.

President of the Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association (KWGA) Anis Majeed said Director General Plant Protection Department Imran Shami issued release orders for hundreds of pulse containers that had been held up at the port due to technical problems and departmental issues. If the containers were not released, pulse prices in the markets would have risen further.

CHICKEN: There was an instant jump in the price of broiler live bird and its meat in the last one week as stakeholders are now capitalising on soaring demand arising out of increasing marriage ceremonies after Chehlum as well as increasing demand in winter.

The city government has fixed the rate at Rs154 for broiler live bird and Rs239 per kg for its meat. But some retailers, ignoring the rates, are selling broiler live bird at Rs174 per kg and its meat for Rs300 while some others are asking consumers to pay Rs160-170 and Rs260-270, respectively.

There is no writ of the Commissioner Karachi as many retailers have not put the official chicken prices in their shops.

Egg prices, which were Rs7 to Rs8 apiece in October, have climbed to Rs11 in view of rising demand.

President of Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Markets Super Highway Haji Shahjehan hoped tomato prices would stabilise when its arrivals would reach its peak by the next month. He said Sindh crop is also finding its way to other provinces, especially Punjab.

He said the price usually goes up at the start of new crop. Wholesale price of tomato has jumped to Rs50 per kg from 30-40 two days back.

courtesy : dawn news

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